Yesterday as I did dishes, my son spent an entire five minutes standing at a wide open garage door, looking out into the dark garage, considering the option of taking a step, stumbling down three flights of stairs, and landing on a cement floor. Yep, didn’t see that coming.
Today he was visiting with an 8-month old in a wagon at the park. I was watching from afar, making sure he did not poke her in the face, when suddenly the wagon handle that he was leaning on moved and slammed right into the poor girl’s head. Yep, didn’t see that coming.
I should really delete Facebook off my phone. I don’t even think about it. One second I am waiting for my son to get done eating or for my car to get done filling up and the next second, I am cruising through my Newsfeed. It is like I have some sort of constant thumb twitch that can only be satisfied by clicking on the little blue app stamped with an F. It calls to me.
I have seriously considered getting rid of my account, and if it weren’t for my blog, I would.
Some of you probably think that would be a great idea, as you also have a love-hate relationship with this stalk-anyone-you-want-stimulation. However, others probably wonder how I could possibly live without it. I feel sorry for those people.
Social media is important to us. It also serves many incredible purposes. I use Facebook to spread the word about a ministry I am trying to start; I use it to spread the word of a new blog post; I use it to sell items and make some extra money; I use it to advertise my new idea for a book club for middle-schoolers.
However, many of the articles posted on my Newsfeed only serve one purpose: worrying me. And trust me: I do not need any help worrying; I am pretty skilled at that all on my own.
I used to joke with my dad about worrying. I would tell him that he just wasn’t complete unless he has something to worry about. Little did I know, someday, I would adopt this torturous trait.
This is a bit off topic, but worrying literally is the most useless human activity. Probably even more useless than snuggling up with your cell phone and your Newsfeed.
Anyway, to prove my point about Facebook and its indomitable, worry-laden information, I just logged on and cruised through status updates, pregnancy announcements, and quick speed recipe videos. I was looking for articles shared by my friends. These were the first five articles I came across:
- Stevenson Funeral Home – Obituary for Cadence – This is a funeral happening on Thursday for an 18-month old niece of my co-worker. She had cerebral palsy.
- 19 Year Old Stroke Survivor says ‘Just live for now’
- Customer with Concealed Carry Permit Fatally Shoots Ax-Wielding Attacker at 7-Eleven
- University of North Carolina: Saying ‘Christmas Vacation’ a Microaggression
- Exclusive: Ikea to Halt Sale of Deadly Dressers, Offer Refunds to Millions
This is what my anxious, and perhaps pessimistic, mind gathered from the above articles.
- Children get sick and pass away.
- People can have strokes at terrifyingly young ages.
- Soon, if our government has their way, all of us will be at the mercy of a psycho with an ax or gun or knife.
- Colleges and public schools alike are continually trying to shove God out of their hallways.
- Something as insignificant as a dresser has killed three, yes three, children.
Wow, ya know after logging onto my Facebook account to waste a little time while my kiddo sleeps, I feel so much better…….I am so glad I did that.
It has become even worse since becoming a parent. Even without Facebook, parents are constantly bombarded by warnings and “helpful” tips meant to keep our children safe.
THE HIDDEN DANGER IN YOUR BACKYARD!
THE FIVE MOST COMMON CHOKING HAZARDS!
CHEETOS CAUSE CANCER! M&Ms CAUSE CANCER! FRUIT SNACKS CAUSE CANCER!
SWIMMING POOLS AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
TRAMPOLINES ARE A DEATH TRAP!
YOUR CARSEAT IS ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT INSTALLED CORRECTLY!
DON’T MAKE YOUR CHILD HUG ANYONE!
SEX-TRAFFICKERS ARE CRAWLING ALL OVER THE COUNTY, LOOKING TO POUNCE! TRUST NO ONE!
It truly is a phenomenon that any child, anywhere has managed to survive until adolescence.
If the constant warnings aren’t enough to keep you up at night. The terrifying, disturbing, skin-crawling stories of sickness, injuries, and deaths of children around the world surely will. I am not one to deny that accidents happen, even freak accidents. However, I hardly think anyone needs to inform me of the one child who contracted a frightful flesh-eating bacteria from a bouncy house… This is certainly tragic, but I do not think 1 out of the 1,000,000,000,000 children who have played in bouncy houses is really a cause for alarm.
It gets even worse if you’re pregnant. Watch out for Zika, CMV, lunch meat, unpasteurized cheeses, and don’t even think about eating raw cookie dough…Bacterias, insects, and diseases are lurking around every corner, waiting to attack your vulnerable, unborn child.
Again, I am not denying, nor would I ever belittle, the tragedies that do occur with children and unborn babies. However, scaring the living daylights out of moms and dads is just not accomplishing a whole lot.
I don’t think anyone out there is going to argue that Facebook, as well as all types of media, is responsible for spreading these ridiculous, extremely unlikely to actually occur, warnings.
I truly do think the media wants all of us to live in fear, buy a lot of bubble wrap, and refrain from indulging in anything even remotely close to enjoyable.
According to Facebook, every activity, food, or device is likely to kill my son. It probably would be best if I just put him in a bubble and only exit the house when it is deemed absolutely necessary. If he is smiling, he is surely in danger.
Even though we tend to gobble up these frightful lies faster than a Thanksgiving feast, it is not the media’s fault that parents worry too much. It’s ours. It is our lack of confidence in our own common sense and in our own ability to keep our children safe.
More importantly, it is a lack of confidence or perhaps a denial of our Heavenly Father. We are not responsible to keep our children alive until adulthood. Our responsibility is to serve our Lord by raising our kids to the best of our ability, after that, we leave them with God. Every parent in this entire country is aware that bad things can happen. This fact is biologically programmed into parents. We do not need help coming up with ridiculous and unlikely situations that could harm our kids.
This makes me think of the many nights I have lied awake entirely convinced that my son’s bedroom was filling with carbon monoxide. Or, even more embarrassing, when I snuck into his room at 3:00 am and removed a picture hanging above his crib: I was so sure it was going to fall on his head and kill him, I could not sleep until I removed it. Am I crazy? Nope. I am a mom. I am a mom who believes it is on her to protect her child in a dangerous, uninviting, sinful world.
We are not perfect. We make mistakes. Accidents happen. Kids get sick. Kids get hurt. This is hard for me to type, but kids also die. We cannot foresee everything, nor should we expect this from ourselves or the parents around us. God would never expect this from any of his children. We are only harming our children by spreading useless and terrifying media that won’t do any good to anyone.
My advice to every Facebook cruising, media gobbling parent out there is this: tell Facebook to shut up and listen to your God when He tells you He will protect your family. He will.